Whether you’re self-employed, entrepreneuring, or just getting your hustle on, networking events are a great way to get your name out there. Networking comes in lots of forms and formats: from the early morning coffee meeting, to the casual cocktail hour, to more formal setups with guest speakers or icebreakers.
While I fully support all such networking events and recognize how useful they can be, I also find that they feel like… work. At the end of a long day, grabbing a stack of business cards and pitching Groundwork! over and over again is frankly the least appealing activity I can imagine.
Business Buzz: Notworking for the Win
Enter the Business Buzz: New Bedford’s premier “notworking” event. What is notworking? It’s the antidote to networking: no business cards, no pitches, no pressure, no work.
The “Buzz,” as it’s affectionately known to regulars, was born a little over two years ago. With Groundwork! still in the early start-up stages, Dena and I met with Shonna Ryan and Kevin Pelissier of Civic Support, a local non-profit that provides digital marketing support to other non-profits. The four of us decided that a casual and low barrier-to-entry social event was missing from New Bedford’s social scene. We envisioned a space where young professionals could meet each other and have “real conversations,” not the shallow and transactional ones that are so often the case at networking events.
The Buzz has grown steadily over the years with a cast of regulars and new folks popping in to check it out. We typically meet in a different bar in New Bedford, but we’ve recently branched to Buzzards Bay Brewery and a couple of locations in Fall River and Dartmouth. A few months back, Shelley Cardoos and Jeremiah Hernandez of EforAll joined the organizing team, so we get lots of local entrepreneurs in the mix. And as our Groundwork! membership has grown, our members count on the Buzz to get to know each other outside of the coworking space.
At our last Buzz we really broke the mold, organizing a BBQ and wacky sailing race with the folks at Community Boating Center. A great time was had by all, and we’re looking forward to more such events in the future, perhaps even a return to CBC in the fall.
Simple, dependable, and open to all…
This month we return to an old favorite, Slainte Irish Pub on lower Union Street. Slainte has a roof deck that overlooks the harbor, and as long as it’s not crowded with UMass students on a late Thursday night, this spot is truly a hidden gem. (See more info on the July Buzz.)
It’s a simple formula, really: Set aside a couple of hours once a month to chat and connect with friends, and perhaps meet a couple of new faces. Add a cold beer or whatever you prefer to drink, and you get what we like to call “notworking.” All are welcome to the Buzz, so follow its Facebook page to stay in the know of future events.